19 Tishrei 5782 / Saturday, September 25, 2021 | Torah Reading: Sukkot
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HomeFoundations of JudaismJewish OutlookWill the World Ever Really Change?
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Will the World Ever Really Change?    

Will the World Ever Really Change?

Don't wait for Mashiach or anyone or anything else to change the world. YOU can change the world RIGHT NOW! It's not just talk - a must read by Rabbi Arush!


The tragedy in Meron. The bleacher collapse just before the holiday of Shavuot at Karlin-Stolin in the middle of inaugurating the new building. The Champlain Towers South in Surfside that collapsed, killing 98. Just in the last few months, more than 150 people have died in extremely unusual disasters. 


We can take it further. 9/11, the Second Intifada, the Holocaust, the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades.  


After each major shocking event, it feels as if the world will never go back to being the way it was before. But at the bottom line, they – and all the upheaval that came with them – settles back down at lightning speed, and the world is left just the way it was before – if not even worse. 


After Meron, it seemed as if the entire Jewish world had changed. It seemed that everyone wanted to come together and uproot the hatred that was the root cause of the tragedy at its source. I set out on a new path of teaching ahavat Yisrael, loving, respecting and honoring everyone, and putting the oft-ignored commandments between man and fellow man at the forefront.  


I thought that finally, things would really change. 


Much to my chagrin, not only was I mistaken in my assessment, but I was forced to admit that the tragedy has already been all but forgotten. Everyone certainly remembers the event somewhere in their minds, but the shock, the emotion, and the desire to change for the better  and even the event itself! – are no longer in the forefront of their minds.  


In fact, many times that I mention the tragedy, people make it clear in words and body language that they no longer even want to be reminded that it happened! 


People just want to go back to their old routines. They don’t want to be awakened by the event anymore. They say in so many words: “Leave us alone. Let us continue sleeping.” As if these terrible tragedies are just a disturbance to their deep, sweet sleep… 


The Only Way to Truly Change  

After each tragedy, people’s hearts opened with deep questions like “What is G-d trying to tell us if He let something so terrible happen? What does it mean for my life and what do I need to change?” Each time I answer the same thing: A general desire to change will not last! You must take upon yourself to work on one specific thing every single day in order to maintain and deepen your desire to improve. In order to really change, you must work!!! 


And since Meron, I’ve been calling on people every single day to join me in praying for ahavat Yisrael b’mesirut nefesh  to pray with self-sacrifice that the Jewish people, and the entire world, should stop hating and fighting against each other, and instead should love, honor, and respect each other, and repent from their wayward ways of trampling on the most important commandments of all – the commandments that govern the way people interact with each other!  


Everyone who has joined me in praying for ahavat Yisrael is no longer waiting for some future event or some future date to change. They aren’t waiting for the revelation of Mashiach, or the fulfillment of the prophesies in the Torah. Instead, they are actively involved in changing the world and making those things possible! 


As Rebbe Nachman said, “My Mashiach is already here.” Because he worked on himself – and he changed. He wasn’t waiting for anyone! He worked to change himself, and the reality surrounding him, with all of his might. He merited to have his own “personal redemption” and he certainly didn’t delay the general redemption, either. 


So instead of just accepting another Tisha B’Av, and another fast, as if it’s a foregone conclusion that we must just go through the motions in hopes that one fine day it will all go away – realize that this is a decree upon us because of our hatred of one another! This is here because of the fighting, the evil speech and slander, the discord, and the separation between us! 


Don’t sit around and wait for something external to change the situation! Get to work and change it yourself!!! 


We, and only we, can change the situation – by turning the hatred into love, the discord into unity and totally uprooting the sin of sinat chinam (baseless hatred) which caused all this suffering in the first place! 


And the very best way to do that, and make sure that the desire to change actually results in real change – is praying for ahavat Yisrael every single day! For practical tips on what to pray for, read my article Love Comes First and the other articles in this series. I also highly recommend you buy my booklet Loving the People of Israel with Total Devotion. 


Everyone must focus on this topic of ahavat Yisrael with all of their strength. If you have any ability to influence or teach others, I want you to ask yourself: “What’s the point? Are you just showing off how much you know? To fill up the time allotted to you?” If the answer is that you truly want others to change for the better, and make the world a better place – then know that ahavat Yisrael is what G-d wants more than anything else! This must be your focus in every lecture, and especially that people should make it real by praying for it – so that your words don’t just inspire people for a moment, and the next moment it’s in their pocket and back to normal life… but that people start working and improving in action, and thus truly change the world.  


It’s in our hands to bring the Final Redemption (Geula) with mercy – NOW! Come, let’s bring down the Third Holy Temple – it’s all ready and waiting only for YOU to get to work!


If you have decided to join Rabbi Arush in praying for the Jewish people for half an hour every day, send your name (name and your mother’s name format) to Eli Goldsmith and he will forward your name to Rabbi Arush to pray for you. Reach him at:   eli.goldsmith@breslev.co.il.

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